Here’s why Mayor Wu wants to limit protesting hours outside private homes Mayor Wu said she and her neighbors have faced “targeted harassment” the last nine weeks, with protesters coming to her house to picket at 7 a.m.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu passed a small group of demonstrators as she departed her home in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston in January. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu proposed a city ordinance Monday that limits the times you can protest outside of someone’s private residence to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Reactions to the measure were swift, with some calling it an abridgement of free speech.

But in an interview with WBUR Monday afternoon, Wu defended the ordinance, saying it limits the forms of protest that border on harassment, and that it protects neighbors of public figures who can also bear the brunt of protests at private residences despite having nothing to do with the public figure.

Wu began by saying she values protecting the right to free speech, the right to protest, and the way those things help hold leaders accountable. But at the same time, she said, people in the U.S. are very divided right now, and there is currently a rise in hateful rhetoric.

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